Are you an expat? This bill aims to make your voting easier

07 June 2018 - 08:00 By Caiphus Kgosana
DA MP Mike Waters says the bill is in keeping with the democratic principle of ensuring as much access to voting for all eligible South African citizens as possible.
DA MP Mike Waters says the bill is in keeping with the democratic principle of ensuring as much access to voting for all eligible South African citizens as possible.
Image: Gallo images

A senior DA MP has introduced a private member’s bill which, if agreed to by all parties, could make it much easier for thousands of South Africans living abroad to vote.

Mike Waters has gazetted a bill that seeks to change the Electoral Act to allow South Africans living overseas to vote close to where they live, rather than having to cast their votes at a South African embassy, high commission or consulate in their host country, as is the case now.

The bill also makes provision for the day that South Africans based overseas can cast their votes to fall on a weekend. It further proposes that provincial ballots be extended to expatriates instead of the current situation in which they are only allowed to cast national votes.

But an expert in electoral law believes these proposals are self-serving and not meant to advance electoral rights.

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